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Mrs. Beitchteller

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  • Mrs. Beitchteller

    First of all I apologize to Chris if I have posted again in the wrong place, I couldn't find any place for secondary characters... or tertiary.

    I was going over my chapter on Piggott in Gravesend, when he went into the fish shop and left a wrapped package for Mrs. Beitchteller intending to catch the ferry across the river, but instead went to the Pope's Head tavern. I wasn't too happy writing just "Mrs. Beitchteller", and in searching for a given name I found a story on ancestry that struck me as interesting.

    Mrs. Beitchteller's name was Ann Mary, born in Gravesend and married to a Gravesend fisherman named John Beitchteller, by whom she had two children: Caleb William, in 1848; and Jacob, in 1852. As far as we can see later, it was a really close family. For as long as we have records of them, they always lived at 97 West Street, just two doors down from the Pope's Head pub (the address in 1851 census is at 72 West street, renumbering to 95 West street by 1855. - https://pubwiki.co.uk/KentPubs/Grave...opesHead.shtml). All along, or sometime by 1888, Ann Mary Beitchteller ran a retail shrimp store out of her home, and by the looks of it, she wasn't doing too badly.
    In March 1883 Mrs. Beitchteller was widowed and living in her house with her son Caleb, then married to his wife Mary (née Hook), and their grandchildren John James, Ann Mary and Ellen.
    Jacob used to fish just like his father did. He became independent and married a young woman named Ann Mary with whom he had four children (Jacob would later become a widower and remarry; and he would run the Old Amsterdam pub on East Street for about 26 years).

    The story that really struck me was the one concerning Caleb, Mrs. Beitchteller's eldest son.

    Caleb had been widowed in 1895, and in 1900 his mother, Mrs. Beitchteller, died. This was a blow to Caleb that he would not get over:


    Gravesend and Northfleet Standard, April 20, 1901

    (Automatically transcribed by British Newspaper Archives)

    DETERMINED SUICIDE AT GRAVESEND. PATHETIC LETTER. At inquiry was held in the Town Hall. Gravesend, on Wednesday, by the Deputy Coroner, Mr. G. Evans Penman. touching the death of Caleb William Beichteller, aged 52, a painter, who s'ded at 97, West-street, Gravesend.--Mr. Willson Busby was foreman of the jury. Jacob Beitchteller, brother of the deceased, residing at the Old Amsterdam, stated that his brother had just lately kept a shrimp shop in West-street. On the morning of the 7th inst., a man called at his house and told him he was wanted at his brother's house. After he had dressed he went along to the deceased's shop, and found that his brother was in an outbuilding. Witors shouted (the door being fast), but got no reply, •ci he at once sent to the Police-station, and I went home himself and brought a hammer sad chisel. When he returned be found P.C. Smith in the hotbe. They burst open the door. The deceased then seemed in • stupor. When he was i p t outside, witness tried to force h:m to take some salt and water, which he refused. His brother then handed him a letter, which he would not let anyone else touch. The letter, which runs as follows, was read by the coroner:- 97, West-street, Gravesend. MT BROTHSI.-1 hope you will forgive me for what I have done. I feel as though I cannot live any longer in this world. lam thoroughly broken-hearted What with losing the dearest friend in the world, my mother, and the way I have been treated by that Nell, I feel as though I am luite done for, as for business and everything else in life. I hope you will look after ray little Will, and then I shall die happy. I hope God will forgive me for what I have done. I feel I cannot live any longer. Your broken-hearted brother, He had a fall. witness added, over six years ago. At times he was very depressed, but witness knew of nothing to worry him. Ellen Beitchteller, daughter of the deceased, said she lived with him in West-street About six o'clock she heard him go down stairs, and between seven and half-past she went down and saw her father lying in the shop. He got up and said, "I have taken poison, but don't tell anybody about it." He went in the yard. and told her to tell him when she had made a cup of tea. She called him, but received no answer. After trying the door, she went outside in the front street, and saw a man named Leggard_ She asked him to go and tell her uncle at the Amsterdam. She returned into the shop and saw the cupboard door open, and found a tin (produced) on the counter, aud a bottle in the cupboard. The cork was lying on the Boor. The Coroner: Why did you not tell to anybody before letting half an hour elapse! Witness (after hesitatioa): I thought he had taken laudanum, because he said he took it to make him sleep. I asked him if I should send for his brother, but he said " No." Replying to another question, the witness said she did not know her father had taken carbolic acid. CALE. A small bottle of rat poison was produced, which she tad not seen before, but he had some rat yuisuu in the house. In reference to the letter she did you know what her father meant by her trutment of him. If she had not been there, somebody else would have been treating him badly. She gave him all the attention she could as far as he would let her. He had nothing to trouble him , concerning her. She went away on Monday before he died. P.C. Thomas Smith said about ten minutes past eight on Sunday morning he went to 97, West street, where he saw the last witness, who informal that her father had taken poison. The door referred to was fastened inside. Jacob Beichteller then came, and with the aid of his hammer and chisel opened the door. They saw the deceased huddled up. After pulling him out, witness tried to form some salt water and mustard and water in his mouth, but the deceased only broke the cup !n which it was given him. Witness sent for Dr. Dryden, but, in his absence, he removed him to the hospital. There the deceased said, - I hope I will nut come out alive, for if I do I will dolt again. I have two more bottles of poison on the landing In my house." Witness went to the house to search fur the bottles, but he could not find them. The next 'nothing the bottles were ' given to him by the last witness. Dr. Randolph, house-surgeon at the Gravesend Hospital, stated that Beichteller was brought into the hospital about nine a.m. His breath smelt of carbolic acid. The tint liquid removed from his stomach smelt of carbolic acid, but not strongly. The deceased got better the first two days, but took a turn on the fourth, and died about 10.30 p.m. on Monday. The causes of death were pneumonia, pleurisy, and pericarditia It was possible that a little bit of poison had got into his wind pipe, and thence into his lungs. He would not have got these complaints if he had not taken the poison, although he did not take a large quantity. Ellen Beichteller, re-called, said she found the two bottles of poison in a drawer on the landing. A verdict that Beichteller " committed suicide by taking poison during temporary insanity," returned.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Gravesend Reporter, North Kent y South Essex Advertiser
    June 8, 1901
    Attached Files

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